Friday, July 29, 2011

Creeping Around the Track...

Today, I walked 10 laps around the track in 15 minutes.

::the crowd goes wild::

Haha, this is actually an accomplishment! When I got out of the hospital, I was a mess. I was in a wheelchair for Garrett's funeral on June 11. I couldn't stand for long periods of time. Heck, I couldn't even sit for long periods of time. It's only been about two weeks since I could sit and play through two Warcraft dungeons in a row (yes, yes, I know, I'm a nerd and I'm totally cool with it).

I am so incredibly thankful for all the people who brought food, cleaned, and ran errands for me when I was struggling back to (the new) normal. Our friends taking care of so much is the reason I could take it easy long enough to avoid relapsing. I still have to rest a lot, otherwise I do have minor setbacks, but I can now do almost all my part of the house work and run errands without much help

Back to the gym, though. I started walking two weeks ago. Like I said, I'm up to 10 laps in 15 minutes. I get passed by old people all. the. time. It's mildly embarrassing. I keep wanting to put a sign on my back that says, like, rehab, or something! But, as long as I keep improving, I can take the ego bashing.

I'm also doing some joint mobility routines to keep the kinks out and increase my range of motion slowly. And there's this post-partum core routine I am working through that you can find here. There's so little good information out there about healthy post-partum exercise that I've tried to pass that link on to anyone who is interested. Not many are, but a few nice friends humor me.

I thought about heading over to aikido tomorrow to do the warmup but decided against it. I thought it might be a little depressing to only be there half an hour and I don't want to be tempted to overdo. Too, it might be better to wait until after next week. I have an appointment with a general surgeon to schedule a hernia repair. I figure it might be best to keep any exercise fairly gentle not only to avoid over-exertion, but also to avoid exacerbating anything weird going on with my abdominal muscles. So we'll see what he says next week. In the meantime, I'll be walking around the track, trying not to sigh every time Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa pass me by.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Comfort in Goodness

I fully intended for today's post to be about exercise but today was a very Garrett-y day so I'm leading off with this quote:

"I loved the Boy with the utmost love of which my soul is capable, and he is taken from me—yet in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such a treasure I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it."

William Wordsworth wrote that after the sudden passing of his son Thomas. Mike and I saw the quote on a stone near Garrett's and really loved it. We spent a good chunk of a night looking for the reference but couldn't remember enough of it to do a good Google search and didn't find it in Wordsworth's poetry. I went to Memorial Park today and took a picture of the inscription. Turns out it's in a letter Wordsworth wrote to a friend. He follows the above with, "God comfort and save you and all our friends and us all from a repetition of such trials - O Southey feel for me!" This, and a thousand times this.

I spent some time talking to Autumn's teacher today. She was incredibly encouraging. Although she and I have very different stories, we both have sadness in our pasts from childhood to adulthood. We covered a range of subjects but it all came back to how our main source of spiritual sustenance is the knowledge that God is ultimately Good. I do believe that God does work for the good of those who love Him...and not in the trite, Pollyanna way many Christians quote Romans 8:28. Does losing Garrett look like a good thing to me? Heck, no! Would I have chosen to glorify God in this way? Absolutely not. But this is the path God's put in front of me and, as someone wiser than me said, this is not His Plan B. He isn't scrambling to reroute my life...the verse on Garrett's birth announcement applies to me as much as it does to him:

And that's a comfort to me in the darkest moments.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Things That Are Hard

I get a lot of people telling me that I'm doing so well or asking me if I'm really doing as well as I seem. And the answer is: mostly. The thing is, I don't spend all day crying or anything like that although I have days where I feel mopey or days like today where I'm grouchy about how people who don't seem to deserve it not only get pregnant but have healthy pregnancies and deliveries.

Tonight I had one of those rough spots. I've been working on shadow boxes for Autumn and Garrett. I'm sure you can guess that it's a bittersweet project. And yesterday my doctor said she wants to get a second opinion on whether or not we might be able to safely have another baby someday. That's a story for another post, but it was on my mind most of the day.

Then while we were snuggling and snacking on popcorn, Autumn asked me, "are we going to have another baby?" I told her that I wasn't sure but maybe someday we might.

"Will the baby's name be Garrett?"

"No, baby girl, Garrett is Garrett just like Autumn is Autumn. If we have another baby, he or she will have their own name."

Autumn and I talked a little more about babies and what she was like as a baby. I overheard her at some point telling Mike that when she was a baby, she lived in heaven with Jesus like baby Garrett. Of course, putting her to bed, Autumn wanted me to read the nursery rhyme book. I nearly lost it while reading Rock-a-bye Baby to her. But, I just hugged Autumn a little closer, took a deep breath, and was able to hang on.


I picked the title Passing Pinwheels for this blog after I read this poem by Christina Rossetti:

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

I see the wind. I see it in the branches outside the playroom window. In the clouds rushing across the sky. In the pinwheel, merrily spinning at Garrett's grave. And, perhaps as I write, I can remind myself that just because I can't see the doesn't mean that He isn't there.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Starting a new journey

Here we are at a new post in a new location! I realized a couple of days ago that I have been blogging since 2002. How crazy is that? The most recent is the one everyone is most familiar with, our family blog. The plan is to keep updating that blog because I enjoy doing it and because I hold out the eternal hope that Mike will write more over there, too. He's way better at this than I am but I'm more consistent so there you go. You get quantity instead of quality, haha.

The family blog is a pretty happy one and we've had a certain theme there for almost 5 years now. I don't feel that's an appropriate place to go into detail about martial arts or books or my personal struggles and insights around the loss of our son Garrett. Not that this is going to be a sad place. I'm not sure I can do sad or emo, to be honest, because when it comes down to it, I'm pretty darn optimistic.

I'd also like this blog to be a public one. I've kept the family blog out of the Google searches because my name is so distinctive and I don't want people to just be able to google my name and get the entire history of Miss A's life. But as I've been searching blogs and websites for stories about or by people who have experienced loss, I thought that it might be nice if my journey might be able to help someone who is also awake at 1am and looking for answers or reassurance that can only come from someone who has been there.

We'll see how this pans out...wish me luck!